|Written by||George Bernard Shaw|
|Subject||A man is outraged by his wife's views on love|
|Genre||comedy of manners|
|Setting||A solicitor's office|
Beauty's Duty (1913) is a short uncompleted "playlet" by George Bernard Shaw. It is a dialogue between a man and his lawyer about the man's wife. The husband has traditional views on marriage. The wife is more idiosyncratic in her thinking.
George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The husband tells his lawyer that he needs to legally separate from his wife. The lawyer says he has no grounds for doing so, as his wife appears to have done nothing wrong. The husband says she has some extraordinary ideas. She believes that her beauty and charm are such that men fall in love with her easily. Since she has a talent for making men love her, it would be wrong not to use her talent on as many men as she can.
At this point the solicitor's clerk enters and says that a beautiful woman has just arrived. The solicitor asks who she is, but the clerk says it would have been a violation of her perfection to ask her name. The husband says it must be his wife trying out her "talent" on the clerk.
In its fragmentary form, the playlet was not intended for stage performance, and was left in an incomplete state. It was not published until 1934. According to A.M. Gibbs the playlet is influenced by the characterisation of Mr. Guppy in Dickens' novel Bleak House .
Bleak House is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published as a 20 episode serial between March 1852 and September 1853. The novel has many characters and several sub-plots, and is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. At the centre of Bleak House is a long-running legal case in the Court of Chancery, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which came about because a testator wrote several conflicting wills. In a preface to the 1853 first edition, Dickens claimed there were many actual precedents for his fictional case. One such was probably the Thellusson v Woodford case in which a will read in 1797 was contested and not determined until 1859. Though the legal profession criticised Dickens's satire as exaggerated, this novel helped support a judicial reform movement which culminated in the enactment of legal reform in the 1870s.
During World War II the BBC planned to broadcast it in Arabic translation on the radio as part of a promotion of British culture in Arab countries. A writer was commissioned to flesh it out and provide a clear beginning and ending. Shaw was sent the English version of the proposed full text in December 1943. He wrote back in February 1944, apologising for the delay by saying that he must have been "speechless with amazement" that the BBC thought this was suitable: "how anyone with the faintest conception of the difference between Arabia and Bloomsbury could contemplate throwing B's D at the head of a Bedouin passes my understanding". The BBC replied that they were sure it "would have admirably beguiled the Bedouins", but dropped the production.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
A Doll's House is a three-act play written by Norway's Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879.
Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, Viscountess Astor, CH was an American-born British politician and the first female Member of Parliament (MP) to take her seat.
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold is a 1956 novel by C. S. Lewis. It is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, based on its telling in a chapter of The Golden Ass of Apuleius. This story had haunted Lewis all his life, because he realized that some of the main characters' actions were illogical. As a consequence, his retelling of the story is characterized by a highly developed character, the narrator, with the reader being drawn into her reasoning and her emotions. This was his last novel, and he considered it his most mature, written in conjunction with his wife, Joy Davidman.
Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was written in 1894 and first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions of love and marriage, asking what a woman really desires from her husband. The cleric is a Christian Socialist, allowing Shaw—himself a Fabian Socialist—to weave political issues, current at the time, into the story.
Back to Methuselah by George Bernard Shaw consists of a preface and a series of five plays: In the Beginning: B.C. 4004 , The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas: Present Day, The Thing Happens: A.D. 2170, Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000, and As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D. 31,920.
Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913.
Heartbreak House: A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes is a play written by George Bernard Shaw, first published in 1919 and first played at the Garrick Theatre in November 1920. According to A. C. Ward, the work argues that "cultured, leisured Europe" was drifting toward destruction, and that "Those in a position to guide Europe to safety failed to learn their proper business of political navigation". The "Russian manner" of the subtitle refers to the style of Anton Chekhov, which Shaw adapts.
Imogen is the daughter of King Cymbeline in Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. She was described by William Hazlitt as "perhaps the most tender and the most artless" of all Shakespeare's women.
"Impossible" is the 15th episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. The episode was the 15th episode for the show's first season. The episode was written by Marc Cherry and Tom Spezialy and was directed by Larry Shaw. It originally aired on February 20, 2005.
"The Butterfly that Stamped" is part of a series of books known as Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. These are collected short stories. The stories explain how things supposedly came to be.
Getting Married is a play by George Bernard Shaw. First performed in 1908, it features a cast of family members who gather together for a marriage. The play analyses and satirises the status of marriage in Shaw's day, with a particular focus on the necessity of liberalising divorce laws.
How He Lied to Her Husband is a one-act comedy play by George Bernard Shaw, who wrote it, at the request of actor Arnold Daly, over a period of four days while he was vacationing in Scotland in 1904. In its preface he described it as "a sample of what can be done with even the most hackneyed stage framework by filling it in with an observed touch of actual humanity instead of with doctrinaire romanticism." The play has often been interpreted as a kind of satirical commentary on Shaw's own highly successful earlier play Candida.
Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, also known as The Private Life of the Master Race, is one of Bertolt Brecht's most famous plays and the first of his openly anti-Nazi works. It premiered on May 21, 1938 in Paris. This production was directed by Slatan Dudow and starred Helene Weigel. The production employed Brecht's epic theatre techniques to defamiliarize the behaviour of the characters and to make explicit the play's underlying message.
The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet: A Sermon in Crude Melodrama is a one-act play by George Bernard Shaw, first produced in 1909. Shaw describes the play as a religious tract in dramatic form.
The British Party System (1944) is a "playlet" by George Bernard Shaw satirically analysing the origins of the party system in British politics in the form of a pair of conversations between scheming power-brokers at various points in history, who devise it and adapt it to suit their personal ends.
Arthur and the Acetone (1936) is a satirical playlet by George Bernard Shaw which dramatises an imaginary conversation between the Zionist Chaim Weizmann and the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, which Shaw presents as the "true" story of how the Balfour Declaration came into being.
Jitta's Atonement (1923) is an adaptation by George Bernard Shaw of the play Frau Gitta's Sühne by Siegfried Trebitsch. It is about a woman who has to atone to her husband for having an affair with his best friend. The atonement of both Jitta and other characters take unexpected forms. Shaw dramatically rewrote the last part of the play, giving it a more characteristically Shavian tone.
The Inca of Perusalem, An Almost Historical Comedietta (1915) is a comic one-act play written during World War I by George Bernard Shaw. The plot appears at first to be a fairy-tale like story about a fantastical "Inca", but it eventually becomes obvious that the Inca is Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
The Fascinating Foundling (1909) is a short comic play by George Bernard Shaw. Shaw classified it as one of his "tomfooleries". He was so unimpressed with his own work that the published text was humorously subtitled "a Disgrace to the Author".
Press Cuttings (1909), subtitled "A Topical Sketch Compiled from the Editorial and Correspondence Columns of the Daily Papers" is a play by George Bernard Shaw. It is a farcical comedy about the suffragettes' campaign for votes for women in Britain. The play is a departure from Shaw's earlier Ibsenesque dramas on social issues. Shaw's own pro-feminist views are never articulated by characters in the play, but instead it ridicules the arguments of the anti-suffrage campaigners.